Pop-ups, theme-bars, hidden restaurants… once genre-defying, now so passé darling. What do you do when breaking the norm becomes the norm? You kidnap said norm, lock it up in a basement, and torture it until it’s broken again. That’s what. You may think that there’s no new ideas left anymore, but then had you seen designer Jean Jullien’s Le Nid? Sitting atop Nantes’ tallest building, a giant bird curled around the circular room, its rear-end the home of the bar and its many broken eggs offering up seats and tables.
Had you thought about sticking an authentic Italian-made wood-fired oven in the back of a shipping container with glass doors, and plonking it on the back of a truck to cart around your local area? Or planting a cupcake vending machine on the side of your bakery, to fulfil 24-hour sugar lust?
But it wasn’t just new ideas that had us in raptures during 2012, no – there’s still plenty of room to defy convention with seemingly less innovative concepts. Fanciful, seedy, bewildering, brave and, sometimes, just dropping inhibitions and serving up a healthy dose of frowned-upon-by-the-hipsters-fun; we’re looking at bars, restaurants and pop-ups in 2013 to dazzle us, surprise us and, most of all, to do the important things well.